Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Black Beans is high in protein and fiber, low fat and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Black beans helps prevent heart disease and can also reduce cholesterol levels. It contains phytochemicals that can help fight cancer diseases. A cup of cooked black beans contains 15g of protein, 15g of fiber with no saturated fat. Now, that's something to consider?? It is a great meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians and can be used in soups, salads, burritos, burgers, etc.

My Mofo Post 6 is the Cuban Black Bean Soup. It is a traditional soup that is hearty and filled with earthy flavors that is served with white rice. If you don't care much for rice, add some cuban sandwich or salad to complete a satisfying meal.

I am midway through the Vegan Mofo and only 6 posts this month. Most of the times, the recipe is all done, just waiting for edits to get done delays it all. I don't give up that easily. So, one recipe every day until this month ends should do the trick. Who knows!! Maybe two, on some days, if I get a little too driven. So, check out for posts daily!!


2 1/2 cup cooked black beans
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (approx. 3/4 cup)
1 1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (or chilli powder)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1-2 bay leaf
2 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (or apple cider or white vinegar)

Quick Cashew sour cream:

1/4 cup cashewnuts, soaked for 20 mins or so.
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
Salt, to taste


For the soup:

Soak the dried black beans overnight. Pressure cook the beans with 1/2 tsp salt and enough water for 5-6 whistles (fastest way to cook it) or cook in a stock pot for 35-45 mins until soft. Reserve the cooking liquid to use instead of broth or water (more nutrition never hurts).

In a dutch oven or stockpot, heat oil, add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the green and red pepper and fry for 4-5 mins. If like more vegetables, you can throw in some chopped carrots and celery too.

Add the dried oregano, cumin powder and smoked paprika and/or chilli powder (add both or use 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder for a spicier soup) and bay leaf. Mix all the ingredients with the vegetables. This step of the process is known as 'sofrito'.

After the sofrito gets cooked, add the cooked black beans and water (or vegetable broth) and salt, to taste. Slightly mash the beans using a masher. Bring to a boil and cover the pot and simmer on medium-low flame for 20-25 mins or so. 

Remove the bay leaf and pureé about 1 cup of the soup (you can do more for a thicker and creamier soup but it's nice to have a chunky texture). Add the pureé to the soup and simmer for 4-5 mins. Add white wine vinegar and mix well before removing from heat. 

For the cashew sour cream:

Soak the cashews in water for 20 mins or so (you can skip this step, if you are in a hurry.

In a blender, add the soaked cashews, salt, lime juice and water and puree the ingredients well. Generally, people add vinegar to the mix but I don't care much for the vinegar. Honestly, I like the taste better without the vinegar, so if you like, you can add it when making the sour cream. Set aside.

The soup tasted good but just not spicy enough for my taste buds, so you can add some black pepper powder or your favorite hot sauce before serving.

Serve hot with cashew sour cream (optional) and  some tomatoes, cilantro and green onions (optional) over white rice or enjoy as-is. Oh, I almost forgot to mention....it works as a great dip for tortilla chips too!!

Makes 2-3 servings.

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